The Rise And Fall (And Rise?) Of Tinsley Mortimer

by Daniel Reynolds · March 14, 2012

    Good news! According to an article in The New York Times, Tinsley Mortimer, 35, is officially back from the land of banished socialites, which apparently lies "on the outskirts of Manhattan’s garment district."  Yikes. From Upper East Side queen to High Society drama, here's a GofG photo chronicle of Tinsley's comeback.

    Yes, it's been a rough year for the High Society star, whose highly-publicized separation and trailing television crew reportedly scared off what remained of her posh circle of friends. “She was almost like a ‘Real Housewife’ — people didn’t want her at the party,” one anonymous tipster confided to The NY Times.

    A lesser girl would have joined Alex McCord in the unemployment line for socialites. But not Tinsley. Having fallen from High Society's graces, Ms. Mortimer picked up the Fabergé eggshells of her past Upper East Side glory, and began re-branding her image. Through the help of agents and publicists, Tinsley has stepped into the limelight as a supporter of charitable causes and a soon-to-be debut novelist.  The final step in the transformation, naturally, is looking pretty for the cameras.

    “I know when I go out and wear a pretty dress and get photographed, I’m going to be in the press, which will help with my business,” Ms. Mortimer said.

    We would love to help with your business, Tins. Here's a photo history of New York's comeback queen through the GofG galleries.

    The Glory Days

    In 2002, Tinsley Randolph Mercer married Robert "Topper" Livingston Mortimer, and New York society was never the same.  Tinsley burst onto the conservatively-dressed scene in a panoply of colorful gowns, and her striking looks and southern charm won the hearts of the press and, eventually, the exclusive circles she had married into. In just a few years, Mrs. Mortimer became one of the most sought-after guests in Manhattan. And her love for Topper shone through in every picture.

    [Raquel Zimmerman, Tinsley Mortimer, Gerard Butler]

    High Society Reality Star

    But New York's honeymoon with the young socialite was short-lived. Rumors of infidelity and personal differences forced Tinsley and her husband to split. This separation marked an important turning point in her social career, and led her to pursue reality show stardom.  For those in high society preferring to remain off-camera, this was the last straw.

    [Tinsley Mortimer, Paul Johnson-Calderon, via]

    New Boyfriend: Brian Mazza

    The show's awful marketing campaign certainly didn't help affairs. In addition, Tinsley's relationship with 27-year old restauranteur Brian Mazza also "raised society eyebrows" :

    [Tinsley Mortimer, Brian Mazza]

    And remember that "make-under" campaign for

    [Tinsley Mortimer, via]

    On the Rise with Charitable Causes

    But with boy toy Brian Mazza now out of the picture, Tinsley has been devoting her time toward charitable causes, particularly related to her love of animals.  Here she is promoting the American Humane Society:

    [Tinsley Mortimer, via BFA]

    In October 2011, she attended The Whitney 2011 Studio Party and, just last month, the MAC Viva Glam Launch with Nicki Minaj and Ricky Martin, which supports people living with HIV/AIDS around the world:

    A Novel Idea

    As our "Best Tell-All Books Of The Socially Elite" article reported back in January, Ms. Mortimer's first novel, Southern Charm, debuts this May.  Far from being gone with the wind, Tinsley's star is clearly on the rise. We can't wait to see what this new chapter will bring.

    [Photo via]